Snacking- Should you or Shouldn’t You?

Research is constantly changing.  Eggs are good, then bad, then good again.

I’m still waiting for the research to prove these eggs are good.

Awhile back I wrote this post about eating every 2-3 hours.  It made sense… when you don’t eat:

1.  You get SUPER hungry and pig out the next meal OR

2.  Your body goes into “starvation” mode and stops burning calories.

I like eating every 2-3 hours and my body seems to respond well to it.

BUT, I have been coaching some clients that don’t want to eat breakfast, or snack all the time.  So I started digging a little further…

Here are my new thoughts to these theories:

1. The thermic effect of food does cause more calories to burn.  So, you may consume  a 200-calorie snack and burn 20 of those calories digesting them; hence the thinking that your metabolism will keep burning all day long if you don’t continuously feed it.  However, at the end of the day, no matter how many times you ate, what matters is the total quantity of food.


2.  Your body does respond to long periods of very low calorie intake by slowing your metabolism to conserve energy – but that long period is far from the 2-3 hour range… try more like 3 days.   SOURCE

If snacking is working for you, great.  However, realize that you are training your body to be hungry at specific points throughout the day.  For example, I always drink a vega shake at 9AM, either right after or before teaching.  Even if I eat breakfast at 8AM, I am starving for that shake at 9.  But, if I go a few days without it, I’m no longer starving.

*Everyone is different, so find what works for you.  Just take that “eat 5-6 small meals a day” suggestion with a grain of salt.

If you are a snacker, I would highly recommend finding whole food snacks with fat.  Yes, FAT.  Think nuts, an avocado, WHOLE FAT yogurt or cheese, a shake with coconut or MCT oil.  More on all this fat on a later post.

My favorite on the go snack?


Why do I have these new thoughts?  My new BFF Ben Greenfield.


In listening to every single one of his podcasts in the past week, I have learned much about teaching your body to become a fat-burning machine.  I love it because it’s not traditional.  Does that mean it’s just some new-age fad?  You decide.  I’m deciding it’s not due to the fact that what I’ve been told traditionally all my life about health and nutrition is proving wrong time and time again.  Like…

Milk actually doesn’t do a body that much good

Ok.. maybe his…



Those hearty whole-grains aren’t really so healthy.


What are your thoughts on snacking?

Does it work for you?


5 thoughts on “Snacking- Should you or Shouldn’t You?

  1. Jen says:

    I couldn’t agree more about eating more FAT! One- to teach our bodies how to burn it but often Non-fat foods have sugar added to taste better and sugar in my humble opinion is the real killer in all of our diets.

  2. Carrie says:

    I agree that at the end of the day it is the total number of calories/fat/etc you put into your body. I go through phases where some days I find I only eat 3 meals and maybe 1 snack and some days where I eat 5 to 6 times. I do find that my afternoon snack is key. If I don’t have that, I am grazing and munching on whatever things I can find while making dinner. I especially find this is true on the days I work. Fat. I went through the teenage years avoiding it. Now I make sure that the whole family gets some fat sources in to snacks and meals. It is hard to find quick fat sources for my kids. They do like almond butter but not nuts or avocados. Just discovered my oldest loves black olives which have some fat!
    I will have to say that some of my thinnest friends eat all day long. Doesn’t mean they are the healthiest though!

  3. karenlovestorun says:

    I need to have 5-6 little meals per day. Having a big meal doesn’t work for me. It took me awhile to figure out what works best AND that a “snack” needs to be something that is healthy (like almonds, etc.) to hold me over. My body works best on a schedule.
    Karen @karenlovestorun

  4. cottercrunch says:

    i actually just eat 3 meals and maybe kombucha or smoothie between, if needed. It works better on my HCL production. But everyone is so different, depends on their adrenal health too, ya know?

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